Sinclair College suspends next sports season; study looking at need for any sports program

Sinclair baseball coach Steve Dintaman, left, and the team watch as teammates bat during a game against Miami Hamilton in this file photo from Foundation Field in Hamilton. Sinclair College’s board of trustees voted last week to suspend sports programs for another academic year due to the pandemic and left open the prospect of doing away with intercollegiate athletics entirely to focus on other priorities. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Caption
Sinclair baseball coach Steve Dintaman, left, and the team watch as teammates bat during a game against Miami Hamilton in this file photo from Foundation Field in Hamilton. Sinclair College’s board of trustees voted last week to suspend sports programs for another academic year due to the pandemic and left open the prospect of doing away with intercollegiate athletics entirely to focus on other priorities. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Sinclair College’s board of trustees voted last week to suspend sports programs for another academic year due to the pandemic and left open the prospect of doing away with intercollegiate athletics entirely to focus on other priorities.

While the suspension is in place, Sinclair will conduct a detailed analysis of the viability of the long-term future of intercollegiate athletics at the college with a report due in February 2022, according to a resolution approved unanimously.

“The analysis requested by Board of Trustees will review the balance of costs and benefits of maintaining an intercollegiate athletic program, with the time and resources needed to strategically increase the scale of apprenticeships, increased health care certificate training, skilled trades training, advanced manufacturing education, and supporting increased minority student success,” said Sinclair President Steven Johnson.

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Citing extra overhead required to manage COVID-19 related issues, the resolution called off the 2021-2022 seasons for Sinclair’s basketball, baseball, softball and volleyball teams. The suspension includes all practices, scrimmages, games, tournaments, and community activities. The programs were already suspended for the current academic year because of uncertainties surrounding the pandemic.

The analysis will gauge “the strategic value and resource needs of continuing intercollegiate athletics in the future,” and provide “overall ‘pros and cons’ of continuing such athletic programs in the future,” the resolution read.

Also, according to the resolution, the report is to include “possible alternative strategic uses of reallocated resources if athletics are not continued at Sinclair.”

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The trustee’s resolution cited a lack of quality time “to apply toward restoring the resource-intensive athletics program serving 90 student athletes” while the college continues to confront the challenge of planning and executing a safe return for 30,000 college credit students, 12,000 workforce students and Sinclair’s other service clients.

For the current year’s athletic suspension, all student athletes were offered a total tuition and fee waiver and 18 opted to continue studies at Sinclair in lieu of participating in athletics. Those 18 students will have waivers extended for one more academic year, if needed, to complete their associate degree, according to the college.

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